Hello middle campus families,
This past Monday we had an extended Morning Meeting in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Señora Taylor, Mr. Rios and the Celebrations Committee put together a celebration that also included several of our students. The students in our Heritage Speakers Spanish class (This is a class for students who are fluent Spanish speakers often by way of their familial/cultural background. The Heritage Speakers class is taught 100% in Spanish and has a focus on culture and history.) led the Brain Smart Start to kick off the meeting. They “United” the students with everyone singing along to a song that all the students (in all grades) knew from their Spanish classes. Students “Connected” over Spanish trivia (correct answers earned 6 students the opportunity to hit a piñata) and the “Commitment” was: “I commit to being a communicator by speaking in more than one language. Me comprometo a ser un comunicador hablando en màs de un idioma.” Next Señora T (pronounced “te”) invited our Hispanic students to come up front in recognition of the various countries that they represent. Eleven countries of origin and Puerto Rico are represented at our school! After these opening activities our students were treated with a performance from Danceando Promotions – a husband and wife team that takes pride in sharing and teaching about Hispanic culture. Students learned about various Latin instruments and musical styles as well as their countries of origin, including cross cultural connections from South America to Central America to the African continent. It was a joyous and educational experience.
Switching gears, by now you should have heard from your student’s Advisor about scheduling your student’s fall student-led conference. These conferences are truly student-led. While it can be tempting for parents to take over these conferences and ask their own set of questions, your students will have their own presentations prepared. Please follow your student’s lead, as students reflecting and sharing about their own learning process is a big part of how we help our students learn how to use their minds well (Coalition of Essential Schools).
This week is your student’s second week of conference preparation. Last week students did their own reflection about how they are doing with exemplifying the Guiding Principles (Responsibility, Respect, Preparedness, Resolving Conflict, and Celebration) in their various classes. We have a Commitment to the Guiding Principles rubric (link here) that details the ways that exemplifying the Guiding Principles contributes to academic growth. For example, under the Guiding Principle of Responsibility you will see “works diligently during class to complete assigned tasks.” Under Respect you will see “Follows staff directions to keep the classroom environment safe and help students learn.” Under Preparedness you will see “Engages willingly with work that is difficult,” and “Keeps materials and work organized so that it is easy to locate when needed.” All of these behaviors are things that help students learn. We have students reflect on these behaviors, because if they are doing these things they will have success academically now and in the future.
Continuing with conference preparation, this week students are looking at feedback that they have received from their teachers and comparing this feedback to their own reflections. The week after the break they will be focusing on preparing their talking points for their conferences.
Speaking of Fall Break, as a reminder, the school will be closed from Monday, October 10th (a teacher work day) through Friday, October 14th, and students will return to school on Monday, October 17th. We hope that you have a safe, restful, and enjoyable break next week! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out.